How To Stop Human Trafficking

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How To Stop Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a kind of modern-day slavery in which victims are compelled to perform labor or sexual acts through force, fraud, or coercion. This also includes child marriage, in which children are often forced to marry for financial gain and face violence, abuse, and isolation.

According to the International Labour Organization, there are nearly 50 million people worldwide who have been trafficked and are living in modern slavery. Of these individuals, over 27 million are in forced labor—including sexual exploitation—and 22 million are in forced marriages.

With human trafficking being such a widespread issue, it’s critical for us to look at the causes that lead to it and the potential solutions that can end it. So, what can we do to stop human trafficking?

How Can We Stop Human Trafficking?

Stopping human trafficking may sound like an impossible task. However, if everyone understands what human trafficking is, what it looks like, and how it occurs, then we can all take steps to help stop it—both in individual situations and as a society. Here are some of the top ways to stop human trafficking:

  • Understand the Signs - The most important way to stop human trafficking is to understand the signs. If you don’t know what human trafficking looks like, then you can’t do anything to stop it. Educating yourself on what to look for can help you spot human trafficking and take action to help stop it.

  • Ask Questions - If you think you see signs of human trafficking, try to find a time when you can be alone with the victim and ask them questions. Doing this privately is incredibly important so you don’t escalate the situation. Ask if they can come and go as they please, if anyone has hurt or threatened them, where they are eating and sleeping, and other questions that can help to reveal what is happening.

  • Report What You See - Whether you were able to ask a potential victim of human trafficking questions directly or you simply saw something that looked like a sign of human trafficking, you should report what you see to the authorities immediately. If you are in the United States, call (1-888-373-7888) or text (233733), the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and explain the situation. If the situation is urgent and you think someone is in immediate danger, call 911. If you are in another country, contact the authorities there right away.

  • Address the Root Causes - While there are actions we can take to stop individual cases of human trafficking, eliminating human trafficking as a whole is much more difficult. However, there are a few root causes that can lead to human trafficking. Understanding these causes and addressing them on a broad scale can help mitigate the situations that often lead to human trafficking. These causes include: 

• Extreme poverty

• Unequal access to basic human rights

• Businesses’ concern with money and profit

• The demands of a consumerist society

• Lack of birth registration and other important documents

• A lack of understanding of human trafficking by the general population

While it may be impossible to solve all of these issues completely, understanding them can help us take steps toward addressing some of them. By educating people, working to end poverty, changing the way we consume goods, and demanding transparency in business practices, we can make progress in eliminating the root causes that lead to human trafficking.

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About the International Catholic Migration Commission

The International Catholic Migration Commission is a nonprofit organization that protects, serves, and advocates for displaced people throughout the world. We help refugees, asylum-seekers, victims of human trafficking, and migrants of all faiths, races, and ethnicities forge lives in safety and dignity.

With support from people like you, ICMC delivers humanitarian aid and social development, protects vulnerable migrants, contributes to refugee resettlement efforts, advocates before governments, and partners with civic leaders. We seek a sustainable solution to dangerous migration and refugee crises.

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